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For companies and employees alike, the year 2020 was a difficult one to negotiate. The epidemic has caused irreversible disruptions, and the pandemic-accelerated trends are expected to change the labor market in the long run. COVID-19 has had a huge impact on work, the workforce, and the workplace, and it will continue to do so even after the health crisis has passed

The Transition from Permanent to Temporary Staffing

Any macroeconomic downturn, such as COVID-19, prompts businesses to turn to Contracting Business or Staff Augmentation, including outsourcing — a tendency that also occurred during the 2008 financial crisis. Contract Staffing is in high demand today across a wide range of industries, including BFSI, IT, ITeS, Telecom, Infrastructure, Engineering, Pharma, E-commerce, and Logistics.

HR directors are seeing the benefits of hiring a contract workforce because it allows them to grow their workforce according to project needs while avoiding the regulatory and expense issues that come with recruiting a permanent workforce. They are abandoning traditional hiring procedures in favor of using HR solution providers to hire contract workers. External consultants, independent contractors, and freelancers are hired to do tasks such as product management, project management, brand strategy, go-to-market, financial modeling, talent acquisition, UI/UX, and more.

Pharma companies are also seeing the benefits of outsourcing labor, particularly on-the-ground and remote medical representatives, production workers, and counter salespeople because contracting allows them to target certain locations as they see fit.

COVID-19 has given wings to the dreams of organizations around the world to embrace “digital,” with many having already implemented a hybrid working paradigm and others set to do so in 2021.

The Indian IT industry, in particular, has become more amenable to the development of hybrid work culture. Many perm and contract jobs are available for those who want to work from home. Employers are becoming more accustomed to the WFH culture and are gradually increasing their hiring. We should expect at least 35–40% of a company’s overall personnel to work remotely in the future, with some organizations prepared to increase their remote/WFH workforce to 50% of their total headcount. Furthermore, more captives are likely to develop a presence in India, as remote working has proven to be effective in the Indian setting, resulting in substantial productivity gains.

Gig Economy

Gig platforms are on the rise, thanks to the rise of start-up culture and the growing demand for contractual workers among MNCs. In eCommerce, Field Sales, Marketing, Telecom, Human Resources, Hospitality, Tourism, Supply Chain/Logistics, and even IT for roles like Content Design, Web and App Development, IT Recruitment, and so on, outcome-based work delivery platforms are becoming increasingly prevalent. HR professionals are aware that career experiences attract gig workers, and to attract the finest talent, companies are investing in training to provide enriching experiences and growth prospects. In India, the gig economy will continue to expand enormously, and it may not be confined to millennials. Gig workers will continue to be relied upon by businesses for high-quality labor. Talent management techniques for gig workers will be a priority for HR directors. Regulations will also be altered, putting gig workers under the protection of social security. And for workers, it’s an exciting time to be a part of the economy, as long as they’re ready for the risks.

HR Technology Adoption is a Priority Across Industries

In comparison to the modest growth rate recorded during the previous three years, COVID-19 has expedited the adoption of HR technologies by 30 to 40%. People procedures have become more efficient and centralized thanks to HR digital technologies. To build and implement a world-class talent management strategy, recruiting/staffing organizations are continually integrating new technologies into their business processes. While entire ERP-based systems that automate the end-to-end HR process are not widely used outside of the Staffing/Recruitment industry, point solutions are widely used and are helping businesses of all sizes digitize core HR operations.

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